Date: Sun Oct 16 2005 - 19:32:18 EDT

  • Next message: Jeff Umbarger: "Image of Double Geosat Flare Last Night"

    In a message dated 10/16/2005 12:54:22 P.M. Pacific Standard Time, writes:
    >>There was a bug on the page, it has been fixed.
    The tables  for 2004 and 2005 can now be accessed.<<
    Boy, do these tables bring  back memories. They're very similar to the ones I 
    had compiled from 1958 through  1979 (although they seem to be missing the 
    principal orbital elements--perhaps  they're in a different table elsewhere on 
    the Web site?), only now they've grown  three times longer, with catalogue 
    numbers in five digits. And we've had one  launch (at least) with enough fragments 
    in orbit to have gone around the  24-letter Roman alphabet to the third place 
    (ie., more than 600 = 25x24 orbited  objects). Great Scott! I've thought 
    about using Excel to someday recompile my  old satellite table, so it's terrific 
    to see that someone else has actually gone  to the trouble of doing so(!).
    I'm not terribly familiar with Excel and I  wonder whether it can deal with 
    variable-length hierarchic data records, so  that, for example, one would have 
    a "main record" for each launch, with  launch-related data such as 
    international designation, date and time, launch  vehicle, and launch site, grouped with 
    "subrecords" for each orbited object  (assuming the launch succeeded) that 
    include individual catalogue numbers,  international designators, 
    initial/earliest known orbital elements, and dates  and locations of reentry, and for each 
    object perhaps some "subsubrecords" with  various orbital elements on specific 
    dates and times, and other subsubrecords  with alternative spacecraft names and 
    synonyms, etc. I once worked with a  database language called Mark IV that 
    had this capability, and I actually  managed to get most of my satellite 
    database into Mark IV format before moving  to San Diego and dropping the hobby.
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